World leaders have been urged to balance spending to curb the spread of the viral infection which has caused health crises, with transparency.
Vitor Gaspar, head of Fiscal Policy at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said governments must recognise that the health crisis is a global situation that requires a global approach and that doing whatever is needed should not displace accountability, good governance, and transparency.
“Sometimes, it is said that in an emergency like this one, countries should be prepared to do whatever it takes… It is crucial to keep a record, it is crucial to have transparent accounting, it is crucial to keep a systematic record and it’s important to reinforce good governance principles and accountability requirements and to make sure that everything is above board at the end so in a few words, do whatever it takes, but do keep the receipt,” Mr. Gaspar said.
Wealthy individuals and firms have donated monies and items to help Nigeria combat COVID-19, but many Nigerians have demanded accountability from those who manage the funds.
Nigeria’s senate president Ahmed Lawan had said the donations were not coordinated, adding that a central body should receive the donations, according to Premium Times.
Although the Nigerian government has worked out an arrangement with some commercial banks to receive cash donations and domiciled the main COVID-19 accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria, some Nigerians have demanded that details of how the monies are spent should be published.
The stringent measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 has hit many economies negatively, just as the increasing number of patients is overwhelming many health systems across the world. Many countries have approached multi-lateral organisations for funds to stimulate their economies and finance their expenditure on health.
While the international monetary fund made funds of up to $1 trillion available for countries, the World Bank pledged $14 billion to help economies affected by the pandemic recover.
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